Mid-year motivation: How to boost your staff’s enthusiasm

It’s very common for schools to experience a mid-year slump in staff morale. The first two terms of the year are filled with events, teaching, reports, excursions and assessments, and staff can be left feeling worn out and under-appreciated.

It has been proven that happy employees are more productive. Staff who feel valued and appreciated are also more likely to be loyal to your school.

There are hundreds of ways you can boost your staff’s enthusiasm. Here are our top 5 recommendations:

1. Set the mood
Aim to come into work every morning in a positive mood. A good mood is infectious! Greet staff and ask how they are. Engaging with your team will help them to feel valued and will show them that you care about them as a person.

2. Celebrate the wins
Find a time to come together with your team to celebrate the first half of the year, and thank them for the work they have been doing. Look ahead at the next six months, and outline key upcoming events to look forward to. Communicate any important changes or messages to guarantee that no one feels out of the loop.

3. Think outside the box
Where possible, offer incentives and flexibility to your staff, and find creative ways to do so. You could offer them the opportunity to work from home one day each term to catch up on work, give them the day off on their birthday or offer the option to leave work early on a Friday after a big week.

4. Show your appreciation
Ensure staff feel appreciated. Thank them for the work they’re doing and think of thoughtful things to do to let them know you care. Small actions that could make the world of difference include buying a round of coffees, providing soft drink or chocolates in the staff room, supplying lunch once a month, hiring a mobile masseuse to give 10-minute massages, the list goes on …

5. Spend time together
Staff are more likely to enjoy working together if they feel like a team and care about one another. Ensure that staff have opportunities to come together regularly. This could involve snacks after staff meetings, morning teas once a fortnight, or regular shared lunches where everyone brings a plate. Spending time together after work will also help your team to get to know one another. This can be as simple as a sundowner at a local beach or park where everyone can bring their families along.

Staff wellbeing needs to be an everyday focus and great team culture is not something that can easily be achieved overnight. It might be easiest to pick a few ideas to start with and see how they are received by your team. You can then adjust these or add more as time goes on. Mixing up activities and rewards will keep things fun and engaging for your staff, and will prevent staff from thinking you are just following a formula.

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